Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"I'm not great at everything... but that's OK. Nobody is."

Over on G+, Tara Swiger wrote a "rant" that had absolutely nothing to do with me, but that I needed to read. According to her, it was "brought to you by a once-fabulous tiny business's recent demise, one I admired from afar."  Trying to market myself is often a confusing, bizarre process, where it feels like we have to wear a lot of hats. It simply can not be done without friends... good friends. I read this and thought, "Thank you for saying it."

I'm not great at everything... but that's OK. Nobody is.
Focus on what you're great at. 

Don't fail because you're not great at everything. 
Get help.
Hire someone.
Change your business, mode of delivery, or focus. 

Just because other crafty people make their thing and ship it, doesn't mean you have to, to do what you love. 
If you're great at design: DESIGN. Find a production partner and focus on designing. 
If you're great at one-of-a-kind: Make it. Have someone else ship it. 
If you're great at talking + connecting: TALK AND CONNECT. Find a way to be useful and get paid (or find a way to let that benefit whatever your business model is). Teach classes, lead workshops, speak at conferences.

If you're not great at shipping (I'm not), stop shipping. 
Go wholesale-only (fewer shipments). 
Get a shop manager. 
Hire a college kid to ship. 
Or change your business entirely so you don't let your customers down with late (or nonexistent orders). 

Whatever you do, don't fail because you suck at something. 
Find a way around. 
If you're not sure what the way around IS, just ask. 

Above:  "End of Shift," by Portia St. Luke.  Sketch in black wax on paper.

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